Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie weaves an intricate tale, with well-developed characters and relationships, and just when the reader wonders where it is all headed, the unthinkable happens.
“Half of a Yellow Sun” is not a symbol I would have recognized before reading Adichie’s work. Now I know that it is integral to the Biafran war, and the depth of atrocity that accompanied it.
Half of a Yellow Sun has rich storylines, and covers three different perspectives of the war: Olanna, a woman raised by a man of power; Richard, an Englishman who struggles to find his place; and Ugwu, a man-servant. Through these three voices, Adichie illustrates the complexities of a society struggling for identity amidst social and political turmoil.
Adichie understands the importance of story, and her work skillfully illustrates that even the most sensitive of issues have many sides. I have only just finished listening to the audio version of Half of a Yellow Sun, narrated by Zainab Jah, and my mind is reeling with all the underlying implications. This is definitely a novel I would like to share with a study group.
Adichie won many awards for this novel, first released by Knopf/Anchor is 2006: Women’s Prize for Fiction, PEN/Open Book, and Anisfield-Wolf Book Award.